Friday, September 17, 2010

Flashback Friday: Bedtime!

What was bedtime like when you were growing up? Were your parents strict in enforcing bedtimes? Were you a difficult one to get to bed? Did your parents share stories about getting you to sleep when you were a baby? When did your parents turn bedtime over to you? Were there any special rituals/routines a parent did - books, singing a special song, etc.? Nightlights, music, special doll/blanket or other things? Did you have your own bed or did you share with a sibling? Did you have nighttime fears and bad dreams? How did you handle them? Did you ever walk or talk in your sleep? Feel free to also share any routines you have done with your kids.
I don't like bedtime! Never have liked it; never will. I don't like to get up in the morning either. That doesn't bode well for me, does it? I guess I'll never be health, wealthy, or wise, according to Ben Franklin. I am finding, though, that the older I get, the earlier I get tired and have to go to bed!

I never had a set bedtime when I was little. I remember one year, I think when I was in first grade, setting a bedtime for myself of 8:00. It didn't take long for that to go by the wayside! I'm not sure what time my parents put me to bed as a small girl, but I would imagine it was somewhere around 9:00. Our one special ritual was for me to kiss my mama goodnight, at which time I would say, "I love Mama & Daddy," and she would respond, "Mama & Daddy love you too!" Now, that was simple, usually done in the living room where Mama was reading, but we did that till she died when I was 16. 

I had my own bed till I got married, partly because I didn't have any siblings till I was 17! I was a scaredy cat at night. I didn't have a nightlight, so I was afraid of everything . . . something under the bed (never quite sure what), something in my closet, the wind blowing tree branches which were shadows on my wall. If anyone got up during the night, I was terrified that it was actually someone breaking in. I remember one particular night when my mom got up to get something to eat and I happened to wake up. She went into the kitchen, turned on the lights, made and ate a sandwich, put everything away and turned off the lights . . . and the entire time I lay frozen in my bed, sure that it was a burglar. Until I saw Mama walk past my door on her way back to bed. When I became aware of tornadoes, I was petrified if a storm came up during the night. So yes. I was afraid of anything and everything when it was dark. I didn't have nightmares or walk in my sleep, though.

With our children, I started out putting them to bed whenever. If they were still going strong at 10:30, I let them stay up till 10:30. Then I met a new friend when my children were about 5, 3, and 1. To this day, my oldest says Mrs. V ruined his life! ;) One day she said to me, "Susan, you should put those kids to bed by 7:30 so you and Wes can have some time together." What a concept! I tried it and never looked back! ;) Hence the idea that Sue ruined my son's life. They had set bedtimes over the years until they were in their teens. Now my boys sleep whenever they get a chance - they're college students - and our daughter goes to bed and gets up pretty much at her own will. We're a pretty laid-back family.


  1. I couldn't do this one at all -- I have very little memory of bedtimes -- I think my parents just told me when to go, and I did. I don't remember being tucked in, read to, or singing.

    I don't like to go to bed, either, but I don't like having to take a nap during the day, but I guess I gotta do one or the other! The older I get, the more lack of sleep affects everything else.

  2. My parents were lax with bedtime too!

    But I am not. :-) At least, not for my daughter. I need to get better at going to bed at a decent time. Having the evening to ourselves is a great incentive for maintaining a regular bedtime for our daughter. Plus she does very well on the schedule.

  3. Barbara ~~ We go to bed pretty late right now, and so sometimes I do need a nap during the day. But on the days I don't need one, I feel so good!

    Tammy ~~ Now I'm all for kids having a set bedtime. I will definitely recommend it to my children when they become parents! ;) And then Sam will understand why Mrs. V ruined his life at 5! LOL

  4. Aww, another scaredy-cat like me! I could relate to this!

    And wow - preschool years were when I absolutely needed my kids to have a bedtime! I was worn out and bedtime signaled the day was done!

    I bet your son will see the wisdom of bedtimes as soon as he has a two-year-old!

  5. Glad you and Wes did get time together, even if it did "ruin" your son's life. lol

  6. Linda ~~ I look back now and wonder what in the world I was so afraid of! And the kids' bedtimes - I'd never had a bedtime, so I just didn't have one for my kids till my friend suggested it. I'm sure my oldest will insist on a bedtime for his children! ;)

    Kim ~~ He's not scarred from it or anything! LOL

  7. I enjoyed reading your memories. Bedtimes are wonderful things...I was always glad to see them come for my own children :) I agree, when your son becomes a parent, he will appreciate bedtimes, too!

  8. Hi Susan,
    I have been so tired lately I look forward to bedtime.:) I was like you as a child. I was afraid a lot. Paper Tigers roamed the house. LOL

  9. My dad was a firm believer in children getting plenty of rest, so I had to go to bed by 8 pm until I was 13!
    We moved a lot and many times I shared a double bed with two of my younger sisters. They sure wriggled a lot!
    Now I look forward to an early bedtime and always read a few verses of Scripture before turning out the light.

  10. edshunnybunny ~~ I look forward to bedtime more every year now! ;)

    Elizabeth ~~ I've never understood why I was so scared as a child, but it seems like I wasn't the only one! ;)

    Deborah ~~ My husband had to sleep with his younger brother till he moved out on his own, so he understands having to share the bed. I find myself looking forward to bedtime more now than I did as a child and younger woman! ;)


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